Raise the Wave
2017, High School, Art
Hearing of this contest, I was excited to express my frustration concerning ocean pollution, especially the careless actions causing debris/plastic pollution and oil spills. I wish for a world where people are fully aware of the consequences of their actions and how to address them. I painted the ocean with vivid colors to convey hope for the ocean’s future. However, the flailing fish and the orange (acidic) pH strip transition into the devastation and waste portrayed by the black and white wave. The beauty of the ocean is juxtaposed with the pollution caused by humans. I illustrated the waste in mainly black and white to contrast the beautiful ocean with its antagonists. The splashes of color solidify the waste’s connection to the ocean, and the undertones of dripping oil reminds the viewer of how prominent the issue is. The seabird drenched in oil is unable to escape from the waste, which it is chained to, and it overlooks the entire painting, helpless. I contrasted the relaxed people made of smog with the transparent figure in the ocean lifting up the pollution to display two routes: we can either become a product of the pollutants of society, or learn to understand and cooperate with the ocean. An “easy” smog-like life is not the solution for ocean pollution. Instead of simply riding the wave, we have the power to control the waves we make. So let’s raise them to new heights of awareness and responsibility.